LEADERSHIP FOR BRIDGEBUILDING CHURCHES

25 06 2015

church1_editedIn cooperation with the School of Evangelism, Bridgebuilders is planning two “graduate seminars” that build on what we have been learning these past five years. Each school will have two 2 ½-3 hour sessions on either consecutive Thursday evenings or Saturday mornings. The overall topic is: Leadership for Healthy, Outreaching, Disciplemaking Churches.

Individual topics will include: The Stewardship of Leadership, Helping the Church to Mature to Match Its Mission, Managing Change and Resolving Conflict, Measuring Your Health and Fruitfulness.

If you would be willing to host, or if you have interest in participating in such a training experience, please contact Dr.Steve Dunn at 717-471-3018 or sdunnpastor@gmail.com

Advertisements




THE BRIDGEBUILDER PRINCIPLE

13 03 2015

IMG_20150105_190159472For those of you who would like to learn more about the biblical foundations, ministry values, strategies and stories behind BRIDGEBUILDERS SEMINARS, you will want a copy of Steve’s book (and the first publication of Bridgebuilder Publications, The Bridgebuilder Principle. This 124 page book is available for $12 plus shipping and handling.  You can order via the comment feature of this blog.





BUILDING BRIDGES TO THE CITY

24 11 2014

10351076_801775483194703_8461806556289882453_n

BY STEVE DUNN

ExponentialChurch.TV of Harrisburg is a four year old congregation that meets in a movie theater.  Powerful and highly contemporary worship, practical and creative sermons and a children’s ministry make up a Sunday experience.  The church has in its DNA a strong service component called You Matter.  One of the things this ministry promotes is for individuals to follow their passion and gather others to make a difference through their service.

Karen Lockard commutes nearly 30 miles to be a part of this urban ministry.  One day as she was in another town she saw homeless man with a cardboard sign “Will work for food.”  She was on her way to a Life Group, her car carrying clothing that another  church was distributing, but the encounter so compelled her that she called a friend and together they met the man on the street and helped him

.10734130_801767273195524_1212667097432725992_nKaren says she is not a leader and a  small comfort zone.  Yet this experience prompted her to start a ministry as part of her You Matter connection,  With friends and her church she put together “I Can” – based on the promise of Philippians 4.13. The result was she and several others from Exponential now making periodic visits to 13th and Derry, an economically depressed part of Harrisburg,  With vans and trailers, they distribute food and clothing and coats to the people living in that area.  Just a small thing in her eyes, a growing effort in the estimation of her pastor, Gilbert Thurston.

Karen Lockard is a bridgebuilder, as is her church.

10689510_801776066527978_1306068022719743667_n





WHO WILL WE HONOR-FIRST ANNUAL BRIDGEBUILDERS CHURCHES OF THE YEAR

30 07 2014

We are taking nominations for the 2014 Bridgebuilder Churches of the Year–churches who at some point have participated in our training are demonstrating leadership in building redemptive relationships with their community. Please send your nomination and a description of their ministries to BRIDGEBUILDERS MINISTRIES, 225 Lurgan Avenue Shippensburg PA. Nominations close October 15

BRIDGEBUILDERS - Building bridges to the Bridge

BRIDGEBUILDERS – Building bridges to the Bridge





GUERILLA LOVIN’ BREAKFAST

9 01 2014

 

 

This is an awesome example of the Bridgebuilders Principle (“building redemptive relationships with the community”).  I thank George for permitting us to reprint this from his newsletter.  George is the pastor of Turning Point Church in Mechanicsburg PA.  – Steve

by George Spangler’

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  Jn 13: 34 – 35

 

Please Dont Do This

 

Recently, I became frustrated with the numerous stories of stingy Christians who made a point out of being overtly critical to the servers that waited on them.  Perhaps you saw the story of the Pastor who was offended that an 18% gratuity was added to his bill.  He crossed out the automated gratuity and wrote these words, “I give God 10% why do you get 18?”   On top of that I was frustrated with the stories and posts of how Christmas has become so commercialized.  I read an article about the number of people killed or seriously injured in Black Friday shopping related, crowd stampeding incidents.  My secular friends used these types of stories as rational to stay away from church altogether, and sometimes I can understand how they feel.

 

 

Turning Point Church

 

But these stories do not describe the Christ followers I know.  The people that I know who love Jesus are generous and loving and so I gave Turning Point Church a challenge.  I said, “These stories do not describe  the Christ followers I know, let’s get out there and intentionally love a server this Christmas season.  Let’s do our part to share the love of Jesus and be exceedingly generous in someones life.  I need nominations of hard work servers that are struggling to make ends meet.”

 

 We were led to a woman that we will call “Susan.”  Susan is a mother of four small children and is working hard to provide for them.  We called the restaurant she worked at and arranged with the owner to be seated in her section.  We told them what we were going to do and asked them to keep it a secret. She had no idea why we were there or why we requested her. We didn’t know her and she didn’t know us, but we were about to have a lot of fun getting to know each other.

 

 I  invited people to our “Guerilla Lover” breakfast.  That’s right!  Guerilla Love (jumping out from behind a tree, kind of guerilla, and showering her with love and kindness in the name of Jesus. )  I loved to lend you my Guerilla Lover book, just email me.

 

 I had two expectations of the participants:  1.) Come and eat breakfast with us at this diner on a Thursday morning, order whatever you want and 2.) leave at least a $20 tip.

 

 I found 11 people from Turning Point who were able to make the Thursday breakfast and who were willing to leave a generous tip. I was also blessed to reach out to one of our ministeriums which brought about the attendance of some awesome COG pastors like:  Dan Masshardt, Zack Wilt, Stefanie DiFrancesco, Charlie Zahora, and Dave Williams. Tracy Connor, who is planting VisionPointe Church in York, was also able to attend.

 

Participants at the Guerilla Love Breakfast

 

 After enjoying a breakfast together and spending time getting to know our server, we presented her with a Christmas Card signed by all of us and containing our tips.  I explained,  “We got together to celebrate Christmas and the joy that Jesus brings us.  That’s why we are eating together today. God has been so good to us and we want to celebrate it together and share it with you.  So we got you a Christmas Card too.”  She looked at me a little confused and said, “Thank you.” When she opened the card, she noticed it contained a wad, and I mean a wad of dough.  She was taken back and overcome with tears.  In the name of Jesus, we were able to bless this wonderful hardworking mom with a tip of $440. At the same time, we gave witness to the wonderful generosity of our awesome savior, who entered the world to give his life as a ransom for ours.

 

 I couldn’t think of more enjoyable way to spend that $20 than to eat with people I care about, celebrating the love of our amazing God, and giving generously to a stranger who God prepared in advance for us to meet.

 

 Here is what some of the others are saying:

 

  “It was fun.  Sure we all have our ups and downs but overall as we express Christ’s love and action to the world around us should’nt it be a blast?   I will never forget the expression on Susan’s face as she experienced that love for real.” -Tracy Connor

 

 

“It was fun to be there, but mostly it was fun to make an impact on one life that day.”

 

– Dan Masshardt

 

 “The following Sunday I told the story of our experience and I shared the story of the starfish.  With so many “starfish on the beach”  what difference did we really make?   We made a difference in Susan’s life.  It mattered to her.” – Stef Difrancesco

 

 

“There aren’t very many days and experiences that a person will never forget. This was one of them. Our server will always remember this and so will the 17 of us that participated. I shared this story with our church on Christmas Eve, as an example of what God’s church should look like in the world. If I leave a $20 tip, that’s not a big deal. But when a whole group of us each leaves a $20 tip, that is a big deal. Thanks for the opportunity!”

 

– Charlie Zahora

 

 

“It was probably the best part of Christmas break. Just for us as a group of pastors to be meeting the same time as your act of love so we could join in–that was a divine plan. Living out my faith in practical ways has always been my style so joining with you was a blessing. Thanks for inviting us. Also as a conference guy I typically hang around with pretty committed believers so I am always looking for opportunities to meet with people not yet a part of the faith community. So thanks for the opportunity to share God’s love in a very practical way.”– Dave Williams

 

 “It was the best part of my Christmas week. the opportunity to see Christ’s love in action was a real blessing.”

 

– Zack Wilt

 

 

I am looking forward to next year’s Christmas Guerilla Love Breakfast, perhaps it will become a movement with multiple locations and multiple blessings.  Who knows?  Maybe we will eat together and perhaps be an answer to someone’s prayer for God to miraculously provide.

 

 Share the Joy,

 

 George Spangler





BRIDGEBUILDING IDEAS

22 02 2013

page25_picture0_1345493656These are some ideas Bridgebuilder churches have used to begin developing a redemptive relationship with their communities.

Volunteering to help the cafeteria workers in the schools

This is a great one for building a rapport with the school and helping your people see that side of life

Taking a Vacation Bible School INTO a neighborhood

This helps people meet you—lets them see their children are safe with you—lets your people meet neighbors who may hide out in their houses otherwise

Offer A GOOD QUESTION Forum in a neighborhood coffee shop

This I can share in detail—but you create a middle space where people are invited to come, enjoy coffee and ask questions about the Bible, God, Christianity etc—where they will not be asked to join anything , agreed or commit to anything.

Throw a Baby Shower for an Unwed Mother

Walk the Neighbor Hood and Ask “How can we make this a better place to live for you?”Great starter for spiritual conversations)

Adopting a Food Bank and Offering Coaching in Food Preparation

Microwavable and easy-to-prepare food is not often present and people have to learn how to use the food they receive

Diaper Changing Stations at Community Festivals

Setting up a Prayer Station at a Community to Pray for Loved Ones in Afghanistan, etc.

Does your church have an idea they would share with us?





CHURCHES BUILDING BRIDGES – NEW CUMBERLAND

7 02 2013

227968_209169015782710_2367395_n

 

FROM CHARLIE ZAHORA and the New Cumberland PA Church of God:

We have a small team at our church called the CORE team, Community OutReach Events. We formed last year and have completed several outreach events. We began by adopting a “mission field” outside our church door, which is about 10 square blocks and 350 homes. In this area we hosted three “Meet Your Neighbor Barbeques”, gave every home a potted flower with an invitation to the barbeques, walked around giving away quarts of homemade chicken corn soup, hosted free summer lunches for school kids, done a few home repair projects for disabled folks, elderly & single mothers, picked up litter, done prayer walks, and a few other ministries. We’ve had lots of “touches” and have been content with our impact. Our intent is to GO into the local community and serve as missionaries. Thanks for any ideas.